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Box Office Update 2/29-3/2: Semi-Pro Shoots, Scores, and Still Loses

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Will Ferrell has done it again, he has taken a film straight to the top of the box office charts. However, this time something was a little bit different. What was different, you ask? Well, the box office total, that is. You see, Semi-Pro was expected to open north of $25 million, and it barely squeaked past $15 million. Now, if you saw the movie you know the reason why. I suspect that word of mouth will not be kind to this stinker. The best part of the trip was the trailer for Ferrell's next film, Step Brothers, which reunites the sometimes funnyman with his Talladega Nights co-star John C. Reilly.

Behind Semi-Pro's lackluster open, two more new releases lay scattered across the top ten landscape. The first is The Other Boleyn Girl, the period costume drama that takes a look at the life and times of Henry VIII, his attempts to sire a male heir, and the soap opera that surrounds them. It opened in fourth place, but will likely make a quick slide. While many are attracted to the sexual politics, the film is rather dry and visually dull.

Slip down to ninth place and you will find the romantic fable Penelope, starring Christina Ricci. Here is a film that sat on a shelf for two years and proves to be an entertaining fairy tale that is not perfect, but is strong enough to enchant an audience and hold them under its spell.

There was one other film that made an appearance in the top ten that was not there last week. Getting a bit of a bump from its four Oscar wins (and an increase of nearly 1000 theaters showing it), No Country for Old Men jumped from twelfth to eighth place. It is a fantastic film and if you haven't seen it what are you waiting for?

As for the rest of the field, the grosses were pretty flat from last week. While the box office total, as a whole, was well down from last week, and from the equivalent weekend from 2007, none of the films had sizable drop offs. The Spiderwick Chronicles and Fool's Gold led the pack with drops of less than 34% each. Pretty impressive, particularly for Spiderwick, which I thought would be fading by now. At the other end of the spectrum, last week's number one, Vantage Point, slipped 44%, a better hold than I would have expected based on the anecdotal evidence provided by the audience with which I saw it.

Next week will see the release of the much hyped epic 10,000 BC, the Jason Statham heist pic The Bank Job, and Disney's College Road Trip.

Four movies dropped off the top ten this week: Juno (11), Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (12), Be Kind, Rewind (13), and There Will Be Blood (15).

This Week Last Week Title Wknd Gross Overall Week in release
1 N Semi-Pro $15,075,114 $15,075,114 1
2 1 Vantage Point $12,819,245 $40,823,745 2
3 2 The Spiderwick Chronicles $8,700,378 $55,028,942 3
4 N The Other Boleyn Girl $8,203,061 $8,203,061 1
5 3 Jumper $7,568,462 $66,790,968 3
6 4 Step Up 2: The Streets $5,742,479 $48,621,711 3
7 5 Fool's Gold $4,418,229 $58,800,790 4
8 12 No Country for Old Men $4,114,994 $69,680,625 17
9 N Penelope $3,802,144 $3,802,144 1
10 6 Definitely, Maybe $3,382,005 $26,650,585 3

Box Office Predictions Recap
Save for the overestimation of Semi-Pro, my predictions for gross fared pretty well. You might even say I did a good job, but I would hesitate on going that far. Let's settle for lucky. Eight of the top ten I got within $1 million, the other one I was off on was a slight underestimation of The Other Boleyn Girl. I am surprised that it opened as well as it did, not that it did gangbusters, but it was a touch higher than I expected.

Here is how the field matched up:

Actual Prediction Title Wknd Gross Prediction
1 1 Semi-Pro $15,075,114 $30 million
2 2 Vantage Point $12,819,245 $13 million
3 3 The Spiderwick Chronicles $8,700,378 $9 million
5 4 Jumper $7,568,462 $7 million
6 5

Step Up 2: The Streets

$5,742,479 $5.5 million
4 6 The Other Boleyn Girl $8,203,061 $5 million
8 7 No Country for Old Men $4,114,994 $5 million
11 8 Juno $3,264,570 $3.5 million
10 9 Definitely, Maybe $3,382,005 $3 million
9 10 Penelope $3,802,144 $3 million
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